The Therapeutic Potential of Exosomes in Soft Tissue Repair and Regeneration

Rou Wan, Arif Hussain, Atta Behfar, Steven L. Moran, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Soft tissue defects are common following trauma and tumor extirpation. These injuries can result in poor functional recovery and lead to a diminished quality of life. The healing of skin and muscle is a complex process that, at present, leads to incomplete recovery and scarring. Regenerative medicine may offer the opportunity to improve the healing process and functional outcomes. Barriers to regenerative strategies have included cost, regulatory hurdles, and the need for cell-based therapies. In recent years, exosomes, or extracellular vesicles, have gained tremendous attention in the field of soft tissue repair and regeneration. These nanosized extracellular particles (30–140 nm) can break the cellular boundaries, as well as facilitate intracellular signal delivery in various regenerative physiologic and pathologic processes. Existing studies have established the potential of exosomes in regenerating tendons, skeletal muscles, and peripheral nerves through different mechanisms, including promoting myogenesis, increasing tenocyte differentiation and enhancing neurite outgrowth, and the proliferation of Schwann cells. These exosomes can be stored for immediate use in the operating room, and can be produced cost efficiently. In this article, we critically review the current advances of exosomes in soft tissue (tendons, skeletal muscles, and peripheral nerves) healing. Additionally, new directions for clinical applications in the future will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3869
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • exosomes
  • extracellular vesicles
  • peripheral nerve healing
  • repair and regeneration
  • skeletal muscle healing
  • soft tissue healing
  • tendon healing
  • therapeutic applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The Therapeutic Potential of Exosomes in Soft Tissue Repair and Regeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this